Travels with S/Y Thetis

Thetis only

Thetis 2021: Leros to Samos

This web page contains the logs of a 5 day solo sailing trip that I took with S/Y Thetis in the East Aegean. I sailed from Partheni in Leros, where Thetis was launched, to Samos Marina via Archangelos near Leros, Papandria in Lipsi, Marathi, and Mycale in Samos.

The logs include either some historical and geographical descriptions of the places visited or links to these descriptions. Also included are links to other related web sites.

Route to Samos from Leros

Monday June 7, 2021, Day 1

This morning I found that the 3rd air compartment of the dinghy had deflated again. I spoke to the yard and they sent Pavlos the man who serviced the dinghy. After he inflated the compartment he found a new small hole which he patched. But the problem was that the dinghy must not get in the water until tomorrow.

Marko on the mast instaling the new forestay

In the mean time Marko and Argyris (who has been assisting to him) installed new terminals to the new forestay wire-rope and then Marko was hoisted by the crane up the mast and he attached the upper end of the forestay. Then they attached its lower end and adjusted the fore and aft (front and back) tension to the mast. After they finished Thetis was ready to be launched.

While they were doing so I lifted the dinghy on its davits and now it was secure in its place while Thetis will be moved.

Today was the day that Thetis was scheduled to be launched. In preparation I secured the 2 Diesel jerry cans on deck and the other 2 in the left sail locker. I also put out the fenders and docking lines and was ready for the travel-lift.

Nikolas re-painting support areas
Nikolas re-painting Thetis support areas

When the travel-lift came I disconnected the AC and returned the extension and key to the office. They raised Thetis and re-painted the places where she was supported. Then they moved her slowly to the launching “pool.” She was launched at 1145.

After Thetis was launched I just made a trial run to verify that the engine and the charging system worked. Then with the help of the travel lift assistants we moored her side-to the launching “pool”. Because the dinghy should not go into the water until tomorrow I will stay here. Tomorrow morning I will launch the dinghy test the outboard and then move to nearby Archangelos island for more tests and for rigging her mainsail and the small jib.

Thetis on Travel Lift
Thetis is launched

I then tested the genset and the autopilot. Both were working well. I installed all the running sailing lines and organized the boat.

Here next to the launching “pool” the yard's WiFi is not available. So, now I had to use the celular connection of either the iPad or iPhone to provide a “Personal Hotspot” to the MacBook computer. I tried this and it did work.

Looking at the dinghy I realized that I had made a mistake. I had put it on its davits in the wrong direction. I will have to fix this tomorrow before sailing.

In the evening I put up the spray hood and then went for a walk up the hills collecting some fresh thyme to be used for cooking.

Later I drove the car to the Steki of Dimitris taverna. The owner Dimitris greeted me as an old friend. He offered me a “shrimp risotto” that he had made for his pretty early teenage daughter. His older son served the 2 occupied tables. I had white house wine and another saganaki as an appetizer to be followed by the risotto.

Dimitris told me that, unlike what I had read about Samos, 90% of the Leros population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But there are precious few tourists, and of course no Turkish yachts. He is afraid that if this continues for the summer he will be hard pressed to stay in bussiness.

Back on the boat I slept very well. It was wonderful to have easy access to the WC facilities.

Tuesday June 8, 2021, Day 2

I slept very well this my first night afloat but I spontaneously woke up around 5:30. I had my coffee and then read the news on the iPad now connected to the internet via celular Cosmote connection. The iPhone was also receiving. By a "Personal Hotspot" the the MacBook computer was also receiving and I was able to get my e-mail.

The overnight electrical consumption was minimal. Everything had been checked and worked except the outboard and the water-maker.

I called Mr. Giannakos and asked him to come and collect the rental car. The charge was 25 €/day.

I launched the dinghy that was set in the wrong way on its davits.

I then walked to the Moor & Dock gate and dropped, as instructed, the gate card into the box. A few minutes after I walked back to the boat Mr. Giannakos with a lady (I suspect his wife) came. I paid him 150 € for the car and prepared to depart from Partheni.

I cast off at 0758. It was very calm and there was no wind. The autopilot worked very well. Aftrer 1.6 M and towing the dinghy, we arrived in Archangelos [37° 11.9' N 26° 46.3' E] at 0825. I anchored in 5 m depth and let out over 23 m of scope. Also, I snubbed the chain with a stretch line and reversed violently. I then put on my bathing suit and snorkeled to check the anchor. It was completely buried under the sand. But at any rate I let out 7 more m of chain. This was my first swim of the year. the water was cool about 20.5°C (68.9°F).

I stowed the fenders and the docking lines. I inflated the dinghy's repaired compartment. It looked alright but we shall see. It was very quiet here in this early morning.

A little later I topped the outboard with gasoline tried to start it. Moor & Dock had left its fuel valve open which can cause a problem if it stays this way for a long time. I shut it and after a few pulls it started. I then opened the valve and took the dinghy for a test ride. It worked very well.

After lunch I took a short nap. When I got up I noticed that under the floorboards while there was no water in the area around the through-hull there was some water in the other aft compartments. I sponged it off into the bilge and then pumped it out. Then I had a scare after I noticed that the Volt/Ah/A meter was not responding. But after I reset it it started operating normally. I will keep an eye on this.

I received an email that my DC house had been entered. It was our house-keeper Evelyn. I spoke with her on FaceTime. She looked for the missing C-Map cartridge but she did not find it. We then sorted together the accumulated mail.

I had a nice hot shower, shampoo, and a shave. This was a real treat. I had a little ouzo, and got into the dinghy and went to the Stigma (Το Στίγμα) taverna for dinner. Mrs. Evrope, Mr. Yiorgos, their daughter Demetra, and their son Tassos were pleased to see me again.

Mrs. Evrope served me 2 very tasty chicken patties with a tomato sauce and some house red wine. After this nice meal I returned to Thetis. and I went directly to my cabin. The time was 10:15 and I fell asleep right away.

Wednesday June 9, 2021, Day 3

I woke up, just before 6 AM. I had my morning coffee and read the news on my iPad and then I had some ambitious plans. I wanted to install the mainsail. While this was not difficult it is fussy and complicated with its battens and reefing lines. To do so I had to remove the tent. It took me almost 2 hours. After that I covered the sail and put back the tent. I raised the dinghy, correctly this time, on its davits. The Volt/Ah/A meter was working correctly. We had consumed 48 Ah over night.

I started the engine. The alternator produced a lot of amperes. I then raised the anchor and departed at at 10:10. Then I started the water-maker. It had to be primed for about 20 minutes but then it produced clean water. I even filled a bottle before switching its output to the water tanks.

First we headed E and then N towards Katsadia in the island of Lipsi. We crossed paths with one of Archipelagos S/Y. We waved to each other. After 5.9 M Thetis arrived in Papandria [37° 16.8' N 26° 46.2' E] in the island of Lipsi at 1125. It was very quiet here and there were 3 S/Ys: 2 British and 1 German. I anchored without any problem in 4 m depth with 25 m of chain. After that I lowered the dinghy and snorkeled to the anchor. It was completely buried in the sand. Although the water was cold I swam here more then I did yesterday.

The good news was that all the systems: autopilot, genset, outboard, water-maker, alternator/regulator, and Volt/Ah/A meter were all working properly.

In the afternoon the wind shifted to WNW and Thetis came close to the rocks. There was no danger but since I was planning to walk to the harbor in the evening I first thought of setting the 2nd anchor but I changed my mind because the S/Y just S of Thetis had left. So, I re-anchored. Now she was far from the rocks. I snorkeled again. The water now was 22.3 °C (72.14°F) and was much more comfortable. The anchor was again. buried under the sand.

Around 7 PM I went ashore with the dinghy and walked the 4 km to the harbor. I got some fresh bread and a few provisions and then I sat in my favorite blue tent Nick & Loulis taverna. I had a small bottle of ouzo with their delicious grilled octopus. After that I walked back to the dinghy and then I returned to Thetis. By 10:30 PM I was on my berth falling asleep.

Thursday June 10, 2021, Day 4

I woke up again just before 6 AM. After my coffee I installed the small jib. Then I raised the dinghy and at 0825 I departed for Marathi. The wind was 8-12 knots from the NW so I had to motor. While under way I filled 2 more bottles from the water-maker.

We arrived in Marathi (Μαράθι) [37° 22' N 26° 43.6' E]. The time was 10:20 and we had come 8.3 M. But I had a shock. “Pantelis” was shut and there were none of his moorings. The only available moorings belonged to “Piratis”. These were small and I had trouble catching one of them. A kind gentleman from a German flagged Halberg Russy came over and helped me.

I called Pantelis on my cell phone and I was relived to hear his voice. He told me that their wonderful daughter Toola died from a virulent stomach cancer 2 months ago. He also said that he had seen Thetis entering the cove.

I lowered the dinghy and went ashore. I met Pantelis and Katina who were in shock. Toola was the same age as my daughter Cynthia. Her oldest son and Cynthia’s Alexander used to play together.

While Pantelis and Katina do plan to open their their restaurant at least for this season they are devasted by their tragic loss.

Later I swam for a while as the water temperature was a more comfortable 22.7 °C (72.86°F). I met the couple form the French flagged S/Y Malai. Stavros is Greek and his wife is French but speaks good Greek. They too are heading for Samos. My plan was to sail tomorrow from here to Mycale in Samos anchor there and go to the marina on Saturday morning.

In the late afternoon I went ashore and and took a 1.7 km hike. After that I went to Pandelis. Katina served me a soup plate of dry bean soup with several delicious vegetables. After that, they told me that a fishing boat had brought them a very fresh sargos (σαργός-white seabream-sargus diplus). She had grilled it to perfection and proudly presented it to me. It was very tasty and, of course, I overate. I offered to pay for the fish but I did not have any money with me. Katina did say that she will accept my offer but only if I pay for it on my next visit to Marathi.

By the time I returned to Thetis it was past 10:30 PM.

Friday June 11, 2021, Day 5

I woke up at 5:30. It was too late to go back to sleep. So, I just made my coffee and read the news on my iPad. For some reason there was no issue of the Greek newspaper Kathimerini today.

I raised the dinghy and secured it. After this we were ready to depart. I cast off the mooring at 0730 and motored following the W side of Arki at a heading of 330 and then of 000. During this time I ran the water-maker and filled 2 more bottles.

After rounding the the northernmost point of Arki I chose the waypoint, on the chart plotter, for Mycale (Μυκάλη) a course of 031, and let the autopilot take us there. There was hardly any wind, just 5-10 knots NNE. After coming abreast of Samiopoula the wind changed to 0-5 knots WSE. During this passage we encountered 2 ships but there were more than 1 M from Thetis. I also had a FaceTime from Angelos Gaitanides, the owner of the Moor & Dock shipyard. He was back on Leros.

While we were underway I called with the iPhone the Samos Marina and informed Angela that Thetis will arrive tomorrow morning. She told me that tomorrow Sunday there will be no attendants. But she will call Michalis, the manager, and call me back. After a while she did so and told me to dock in the C17 berth next to the M/Y Voyager. I also tried to call Aramis rent-a-car but there was no answer. So, I called Yiannis, who is the Aramis person at the airport, on his mobile phone. He told me to call him back tomorrow after our arrival and he will sent a car.

We arrived in Mycale (Μυκάλη) [37° 42.2' N 26° 58.8' E] at 1140 after 26.2 M. I anchored at our usual spot in 4 m depth and let out 23 m of chain.

Right away I lowered the dinghy from its davits so that I could snorkle and check the anchor. The wind in the mean time came from the NNE. The water was 23.4°C (74.1°F), not too bad, the anchor was totally submerged in the sand.

I had my lunch and rested for about 1 hour. Then I had my afternoon filtered coffee. After that I covered and raised on its davits the dinghy. This took about 45 minutes. I also bagged the unused small jib but I left the tent.

In the evening I had my ouzo and then I made a cheese omelet for dinner.

Saturday June 12, 2021, Day 5

This was a particularly busy day. After coffee I started bagging and preparing my belongings to take with me to our house in Kalami. There was my duffle bag and many smaller bags.

Finally I raised the anchor and departed for Samos Marina at 08:20. I also called Yiorgos our caretaker. He was also on his way to the marina.

We arrived at the marina [37° 41.45' N 26° 57.49' E] at 0825. Yiorgos was already there and he helped me moor Thetis. After securing the boat I plugged in the AC.

I emptied the refrigerator and packed the food. I then handed my belonging (duffel bag, travel bag, food, etc.) to Yiorgos who drove them to Kalami. In the mean time, Alexis from Aramis came with the rental car that I had already reserved.

I turned off the circuit brakers, locked the boat and left with the rented car.

This is the end of this short trip.

Sunday June 13, 2021

I drove to the marina in the early morning. Once in Thetis I packed for Kalami the coffee that I had forgotten yesterday both Turkish and filtered as well as the coffee grinder. I turned off the camping gas and serviced the water-maker filling it with the antibacterial solution.

Then I opened the floor boards removed the speed log impeler. I also sponged off all the accumulated water mostly from the refrigerator run-off.

Sunday June 20, 2021

I went to the boat with our Kalami cleaning lady, Fotini. While she first washed the dishes and utensils, vacuumed the floor, and then sponged it. I used the pressure hose, we brought from Kalami, and cleaned the deck and the cockpit.